By the same token, the dark, shaded area behind her and over her left shoulder is confusing because it also suggests a light source in front of her and to the right, yet there is no shading on her face to accompany it. Lines and shapes play an important role in this work because they work together to establish balance. This is achieved through the use of both geometric and organic shapes, with the organic representing the figure of the woman and the geometric establishing the background and its division of color. The lines in the work are both dominant outlines on her shoulders, hair, and left neckline, and blurred lines like the details on her garments and the contour of her right cheek and chin. Painting technique can be described as the use of several layers of oil paint on canvas with visible brush strokes and some texture.
Green Stripe, by Henri Matisse
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Madam Matisse- (the green line) Essay
Henri Matisse uses loose brushstrokes and allows the white-painted canvas to be shown. This thickly applied paint used from the tube creates a rich, strong, heavy image to the viewer, revealing the fauvist technique. Madame Matisse is shown in the painting from her shoulders to the top of her hair, which is done in a bun. She is staring directly at the painter-Henri Matisse.
In Henri Matisse exhibited this portrait of his wife to a shocked art world. She has a green stripe down her face. Now a Fauvist icon, The Green Line as it is known has been studied for a century yet revealed little. Many comment that Matisse was primarily interested in decoration, allowing color to dictate form.